The new Audi Q8 e-tron expands upon the success of the electric pioneer that was the initial Audi e-tron. The top-of-the-line electric SUV and crossover dazzle with their enhanced aerodynamics, battery capacity, charging performance, and range.
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2018 – the first year of Audi’s electric future
With the release of the Audi e-tron in 2018, the premium automaker ushered in the era of electromobility and the four rings’ transition to an electric future. The vehicle has now become the industry standard for electric luxury-class SUVs.
Audi has been on an organized electric roadmap since the release of the Audi e-tron and sales of 150,000 units. There are now eight vehicles in its electric lineup. It will have more than 20 by 2026. Audi will thereafter solely be introducing completely electric cars to the global market.
“With our corporate strategy ‘Vorsprung 2030’, we’ve set a fixed date for our withdrawal from combustion engines and clearly decided that Audi will be a fully electric brand within 11 years. The new Audi Q8 e-tron, with its improved efficiency and range and refined design, is another important component in our electric portfolio to get people excited about electromobility with emotional models that are suitable for everyday use.” said Markus Duesmann, Chairman of the Board of Management of AUDI AG.
“In the new Q8 e-tron, we were able to significantly increase both battery capacity and charging performance. This allowed us to achieve an optimal balance between energy density and charging capacity, as well as to increase efficiency. On top of that, we improved the motors, progressive steering, and chassis control systems – and thus the dynamic driving characteristics that are typical of Audi in all versions of the Q8 e-tron.” added Oliver Hoffmann, Audi Board Member for Technical Development.
The Audi Q8 e-tron is the top SUV bearing the four rings
Audi clearly communicates that the Audi Q8 e-tron is the top model within its lineup of electric SUVs and crossovers by referring to it as the Q8. At first appearance, the Audi Q8 e-tron and Q8 Sportback e-tron are clearly entirely electric vehicles.
This is made possible by the updated front and rear designs, which systematically advance Audi’s electric design language and include the distinctive Singleframe mask, inverted grille, and blade above the revamped rear diffuser. The Singleframe grille, which is completed in body color, is a unique feature of the edition S line package.
The Q8 e-tron, an elegant electric SUV vehicle from Audi, debuts the new brand identity with a two-dimensional external four-ring design. Audi emphasizes the face of the car with the projection light Singleframe to elevate the family emblem as a focal point. The Q8 e-tron is also the first vehicle to have a new model badge on the B-pillar with Audi lettering.
The Q8 e-tron provides the most available room and comfort with a length of 4.915 meters, a width of 1.937 meters, and a height of 1.619 meters for the Sportback and 1.633 meters for the SUV. Both the SQ8 e-tron and SQ8 Sportback e-tron are 39 millimeters wider and two millimeters lower than the standard SQ8.
Its 2.928-meter wheelbase makes for a lot of legroom in the rear seats as well. 569 liters for the SUV and 528 liters for the Sportback make up its spacious storage capacity. 62 liters are also accessible in the so-called “frunk,” the front storage compartment.
Drivetrains and range
Three powertrain options with electric all-wheel drive are available for both body types. According to the WLTP, the basic versions of the Audi Q8 50 e-tron and the Audi Q8 Sportback 50 e-tron have a range of up to 491 km (SUV) and up to 505 km (Sportback) and can produce 250 kW in boost mode and 664 Nm of torque with their two motors.
The Audi Q8 55 e-tron and Audi Q8 Sportback 55 e-tron have two motors that together provide 300 kW of boost power and 664 Nm of torque. According to the WLTP, the SUV’s range is up to 582 km, while the Sportback’s range is up to 600 km. Their maximum speed is 200 km/h, as is the Q8 50 e-tron’s.
Three motors power the top-of-the-line Audi SQ8 e-tron and Audi SQ8 Sportback e-tron vehicles. They have a boost output of 370 kW and 973 Nm of torque.
The S models’ maximum ranges for the SUV and Sportback are 494 and 513 kilometers, respectively. Their maximum speed is 210 km/h.
Battery and charging
There are two battery sizes available. The Q8 50 e-tron’s battery has a storage capacity of 89 net kilowatt-hours (95 gross kWh), compared to the more potent Q8 55 e-tron and SQ8 e-tron models, which have 106 net kWh (114 gross kWh). The battery capacity that consumers may use has also increased since the battery management system was modified.
The Audi Q8 50 e-tron can charge at a maximum rate of 150 kW at a fast charging station. The maximum charging performance rises to 170 kW with the Q8 55 e-tron and SQ8 e-tron. During an approximately 31-minute charging break, the large battery can be charged from zero to eighty percent; under ideal circumstances, this translates to a range of up to 420 kilometers (according to WLTP).
The Audi Q8 e-tron can charge at a maximum rate of 11 kW at an AC charging station or wall box. Up to 22 kW of AC charging power is available as an option from Audi.
The Audi Q8 50 e-tron can be fully charged using alternating current in around nine hours and fifteen minutes (22kW: roughly four hours and forty-five minutes) under optimum circumstances. The big battery’s statistics are around six hours at 22 kW and 11 hours and 30 minutes at 11 kW. The Plug & Charge feature is a standard feature on the Audi Q8 e-tron.
Dynamics, aerodynamics, and comfort
A regulated air-spring suspension with shock absorption is a standard feature of the new Audi Q8 e-tron. Depending on the driving conditions, the automobile body’s height may vary by a total of 76 millimeters. The air-spring tuning of the vehicle was altered to improve the lateral dynamics.
Additionally, in the future, its electronic stability control (ESC) will provide even greater mobility, particularly in tight turns. The redesigned progressive steering in the Audi Q8 e-tron allows it to manage situations with substantially greater agility. Even while performing subtle steering motions, the steering system now reacts considerably more rapidly thanks to a modified gear ratio.
More robust suspension bearings on the front axle help the direct steering ratio’s effects. As a result, steering motions are transferred to the wheels more directly, and steering response feedback is also enhanced. All of the chassis control systems were modified, yet they all still maintain their Audi DNA balance and flawless tuning.
The aerodynamics of the Audi Q8 e-tron was given great emphasis. As a consequence, the Q8 Sportback e-tron’s drag coefficient decreased from 0.26 to 0.24 cw, and the Q8 e-tron’s from 0.28 to 0.27 cw. The underbody-mounted wheel spoilers assist in directing airflow around the wheels. The Audi Q8 Sportback e-tron now includes spoilers on the back wheels in addition to larger spoilers on the front axle.
Only the rear axle of the SQ8 Sportback e-tron is equipped with spoilers. This is the first time an Audi vehicle features a self-sealing system around the grille in addition to the electronic shutters that close the radiator automatically. The airflow at the front of the automobile is further optimized by this technology, and unwanted losses are avoided.
Luxurious and immersive interior
The interior is made to look lighter and has a greater feeling of space thanks to the glass panoramic roof. The glass components electrically open and shut. The controls for the blackout sunshades are equally simple. The two-part glass roof’s effective ventilation helps to enhance the interior environment while it is open. Additionally, a built-in wind deflector lessens wind noise.
Audi offers a four-zone automatic temperature control system as well as an air quality package in addition to the regular two-zone automatic climate control. Even in hot outdoor conditions, the three-stage ventilation allows for comfortable sitting. The leather of the basic seats, which is finely perforated, is available for this. The standout interior feature is the highly adjustable personalized contour seats.
Additionally to pneumatic seat and backrest adjustments, a massage feature may be added to them. Decorative inlays of porous wood veneers, such as grainy ash and sycamore, aluminum, or, for the S line and edition S line variants, a carbon fiber framework, are available for all furniture as options.
The MMI touch response operating system is used by the Q8 e-tron, as it is with other luxury-class Audi vehicles. Nearly all traditional controls and knobs are replaced by its two sizable high-resolution screens, the top one with a 10.1-inch diagonal and the lower one with an 8.6-inch diagonal. Numerous functionalities may be triggered via voice control in addition to the two touch panels.
The standard Audi virtual cockpit with full HD resolution completes the digital display and operating concept in the Audi Q8 e-tron. All the significant features of operating an electric vehicle, from charging speed to the range, are represented by specific visuals. A heads-up display may be fitted upon request.
The Audi Q8 e-tron will come equipped with MMI Navigation plus as standard equipment in Germany. Its media center contains an integrated WiFi hotspot for passengers’ mobile devices and supports the high-speed data transfer standard LTE Advanced. Based on previously used routes, the navigation system makes intelligent recommendations for locations.
Available in early 2023
The new Audi Q8 e-tron and Audi Q8 Sportback e-tron will go on sale at the end of February 2023 in Germany and the major European markets. Orders will be accepted beginning in mid-November. At the end of April, the model is anticipated to hit the market in the USA. In Germany, the Audi Q8 e-tron price will start at 74,400 euros.